Book 41. Shadow Account, by Stephen Frey. Unabridged audio.
Lots of thriller writers include occasional financial subplots or aspects in their novels. John Grisham, David Baldacci, and Robert Ludlum all write novels that fit into this subgenre. But Stephen Frey specializes in novels that take place in the worlds of high finance and investment banking. My favorites of his prior novels include “The Vulture Fund,” “The Day Trader,” and “Silent Partner.” Some of his novels feature recurring characters, but this one is a stand-alone.
Conner Ashby is an investment banker on the way up in his career. But when he receives an email meant for someone else, detailing corporate fraud on a massive scale at a huge public company, he finds himself in the middle of a plot that may cost investors billions of dollars.
The plot eventually includes powerful political figures. Between the high-rollers of finance and political power, Ashby finds himself in danger, and on his own. There are betrayals, surprises, twists, turns, and shootouts. It is a solid high-stakes thriller.
Frey does a nice job dealing with the financial aspects of the novel with accuracy, while not turning those sections into lectures. The novel touches on accounting fraud, the role of external auditors, and how little frauds can quickly turn into large frauds. There are some shortcuts taken in this aspect of the storytelling, but the basic facts are correct, and Frey manages to deliver them nicely within the context of an adventurous fictional story.